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If you own or manage a plumbing business — or hope to someday – sometimes it’s hard not to get caught up in the day-to-day operations. Answering calls, scheduling appointments and problem solving for your customers isn’t just the service you provide, it’s also how you earn a living. Yet, it’s also important to consider how your business is set up to grow and thrive long-term. What’s your plan for the future?
A business vision statement is a critical document to start with as you define the dream and ultimate goal you have for your company. When finished, it will clearly state where you see your business in the future. For example, do you want to forever change the way people view plumbers in your market — or the world? Do you want to redefine innovation for your industry? Do you want to be No. 1 in your market, region or state? Vision statements can be short, sweet and lofty like these — or longer and more specific to include tangible goals and results.
Start by thinking about what you do best and what you most enjoy doing. Do you thrive doing big, commercial projects or are you more comfortable in residential settings? Formulate your vision around what sets you apart but also look toward the future. Consider:
Some companies state that they want to be No. 1 in their field or perform better than the competition. It’s up to you if you include these types of goals.
Regardless of whether you state growth goals, a vision statement should be something everyone within the business knows and understands. And although you don’t plaster it on the side of your work truck, it should be top of mind. But beware of getting so busy working on the vision that you don’t realize you’ve achieved it. That’s why I recommend companies revisit their vision statement regularly — once a year to make sure it doesn’t need to be updated or enhanced. I also recommend keeping a close eye on the competition, so your vision keeps you differentiated in the market.
This raises another important question: What types of services should you consider adding as your business grows? What’s new and needed? Depending on where you are geographically, plumbing work can likely be seasonal. Are you ready for the next season? These types of questions can all be evaluated in relation to your vision statement.
For the plumbing industry, vision statements can really help business owners make decisions, whether it’s who to hire or what equipment to invest in. There might be an innovative new tool on the market — and it looks enticing — but it doesn’t make sense for your goals. Or maybe you know you need that tool to grow, so you save up to add one to your arsenal annually. Your vision helps you map out clearly the return on your investment, so you understand and can justify how new equipment will expand your services and equate to the right type of growth for your goals. It also helps you plan and map out these purchases on an annual or periodic basis so you don’t overlook buying them.
From an employee perspective, vision statements can help you hire people who share your views. If your vision statement is to “be the company where the best plumbers choose to work,” how will you make this happen? How will you recruit the best? Keep the best on staff? Keep skills current? Make sure the goal you have in your vision statement is one you’re willing to work toward.
That’s really the bottom line of a vision statement: It helps you chart your path, but it also holds you accountable for making smart decisions that get you to your goal.
Becky Brotherton is marketing communications manager at RIDGID, a global manufacturer of more than 300 dependable and innovative tools trusted by professional trades in over 100 countries. Learn more at RIDGID.com.